Constantin Guys

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Constantin Guys
War Encampment
ca. 1854-1855
Pen and brown ink with brown wash and white gouache heightening on paper.
3 3/8 x 5 inches (85 x 127 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

Inscribed on verso in pen and brown ink, " [....]".

Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. A0522).

Constantin Guys recorded fanciful images of Parisian society, but he is equally known for his unsettling images of war. In 1854-1855, Guys traveled with the French army in order to document the Crimean War. He personally witnessed the battles of Inkerman (in present-day Ukraine) and Balaklava (Crimea), and many of his drawings from this period survive. The site depicted in the Morgan Library & Museum drawing cannot be stated with certainty, but the two tents and the standing soldiers with artillery suggest a military encampment. The vague demarkation of figures in pen and brown ink, with a flurry of activity in the middle ground, resembles Guys' sketch of the harbor of Kamiesh, also from his Crimean War travels, currently in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (inv. 34706) (Pierre Duflo, Constantin Guys, fou de dessin, grand reporter, 1802-1892. Paris, 1988, pp. 218-219). The Morgan Library & Museum drawing can most likely be dated to this period, ca. 1854-1855.

Associated names: 

McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

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